In recent years, hot-desking has become one of the most popular office trends mostly in large and medium-sized companies. Employers who opt for this type of office space layout arrangement usually expect their employees to cooperate with others more frequently, be more creative and open to new ideas. However, with the outbreak of the pandemic, many people are now wondering if hotdesking can be safe. Are these concerns justified? What can employers do to decrease the possibility of catching the virus by their staff? Do they need to give up hotdesking?

Hotdesking and COVID-19 measures

Hot desking is a system of office organization, in which multiple employees can use a single physical workstation. This means that there are no fixed workstations and staff can choose places to sit that best match their needs and preferences. The majority of companies choosing to hotdesk organize their office layout according to the first-come, first-served rule, meaning employees who are the first to show up at work can choose from among all the free workstations. As employees come to the office, the number of available desks lowers and the choice becomes more limited. This can lead to problems connected with following the current COVID-19 guidelines, e.g., more frequent disinfection is needed.

Why is hotdesking problematic?

Employees who experienced the benefits of hotdesking usually don’t want to go back to traditional fixed office space organization. This is understandable taking the flexibility it offers into consideration. However, in the current times, hot desking seems to be much more dangerous for staff. As the first symptoms of the COVID-19 can appear after a few days of catching the virus, during this time, the sick employee can potentially infect all the people with whom they come into contact. When employees shift places on a daily basis, the number of people they encounter increases. What is more, it is hard to track where particular employees sit and therefore who can be in danger of catching the virus. 

How to make hotdesking safer?

Fortunately, there are some easy-to-introduce solutions that can facilitate hotdesking in these difficult times. Some of them include: the installation of desk dividers, sanitizing stations and the introduction of a dedicated hotdesking app.

Diluting workspace density is the key

If you want to provide your employees with safe working condition, consider if all of them need to come to the office every day. If their tasks can be done remotely from home, consider letting them work from home. To make things easier, you can divide employees into groups that show up in the office alternately. This way you can reduce the number of occupied desks and space hotdesking workstations further apart.

Don’t forget to equip the office properly

The prevention of COVID-19 should not only focus on social distancing. Another important thing to remember is proper hygiene. Employees should always have access to free disinfectants as well as soap and paper towels in the bathroom. Desk dividers and special UV-C- lighting that kills viruses, bacteria, moulds and spores are also worth considering.

Track your employees

The biggest problem with hotdesking is that employers usually don’t control their workers. If one of them catches the virus, it can be problematic for all other employees who can be placed under quarantine. However, with a hotdesking app such as Deski, we can make this issue go away. The system will keep track of the employees so that you can see with whom they were in contact at the office.

Additional safety measures with Deski

Deski – our desk booking app allows for additional customisation, which can make your office compliant with safety regulations present in your country. Some examples include limiting the number of people in the office at once or proximity blocking of desks. You can also make certain floors or zones exclusive to a group of people, or allow groups to book on alternating weeks, to lower the number of contacts. If you’d like to learn more about these measures, you can contact us over email or book an onboarding call.


As you can see, there are a number of ways in which you can prepare your office for a safe return to hotdesking. With an innovative desk booking app, you can easily control the flow of employees and react quickly when the need arises. If you want to learn more about our solution, get the free trial account and discover the possibilities our system offers.

Don’t know where to start?

Start with us! Choose a desk-booking app with a simple, yet powerful interface. We can help you find an optimal configuration for your office. Booking a desk should be nothing but a single click! Get familiar with Deski – a desktop and mobile app with real-time reservations. Set your own reservation rules and separate office space – it’s all up to you! If you have any questions about our hot-desking solution, let us know!

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